updated 10:55 am EST, Thu December 18, 2008
iPhone 78pc of WiFi Use
A new AdMob report published late yesterday reveals that iPhone owners now represent the single largest source of mobile Wi-Fi data traffic worldwide, particularly in the US and UK. In its home country, the Apple phone represents just over half (50.6 percent) of all requests from handhelds of any kind and is promptly followed up by the iPod touch, which itself makes up 28 percent of the requests. The best non-Apple device, Sony's PSP, only manages 13.1 percent of this traffic.
By contrast, the T-Mobile Dash, G1, and various BlackBerries each have less than one percent of Wi-Fi use despite in many cases lacking the 3G support that makes Wi-Fi use more frequent. UK figures are similarly weighted and give the iPhone the lead at 46.1 percent, followed by the iPod touch at 21.8 percent and Nokia's N95 at 16.7 percent.
The Apple device is also more than twice as likely to be used on Wi-Fi than other devices and is used 42 percent of the time on these hotspots in its home country rather than EDGE or 3G compared to no more than 10 to 20 percent for competitors; in the UK, this reaches 56 percent. The phone's presence helped roughly double the use of mobile Wi-Fi to 8 percent in both countries just between October and November.
Specific to iPhones, AdMob also notes that the handsets' traffic surged 52 percent month-to-month in November and that people are more likely to visit an optimized version of a website than its standard version.
The ad provider doesn't provide a direct explanation for the disproportionately large number of web hits from iPhones or the increases in mid-fall, though its web browser is considered one of its strongest points; the handset also streamlines the process of bridging between the cellular network and Wi-Fi.
Competition is anticipated to heat up as phones made with heavy Internet use in mind, like the BlackBerry Bold and T-Mobile G1, also gain greater influence.